Millions of Americans drive under the influence

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2020 | Criminal Law |

When Texas motorists get behind the wheel, they never know what type of behavior they may encounter from other drivers. Negligent drivers may text or operate their vehicles while drowsy or even drunk. According to the American Automobile Association, one threat has grown. People are more likely than ever to drive their cars shortly after consuming cannabis. Over 14 million Americans say that they have driven within one hour of smoking marijuana or otherwise taking a cannabis product at some point in the past 30 days, the AAA report notes.

The report also indicated that Americans are less likely to consider driving under the influence of cannabis as a threat to others on the road. While only 3% of respondents said it was safe to drive under the influence of heavy prescription drugs like opiates and 2% said it was safe to drive after drinking, 7% said they believed it was safe to drive after using marijuana. While there is far less research to document the dangers posed by cannabis influence on the road than there is for drinking and other drugs, AAA researchers noted that marijuana can slow reaction times and impair judgment, potentially causing severe car accidents.

In many ways, they said, cannabis acts much the same way as other types of distraction, from excessive sleepiness to alcohol. People also tend to believe that they will not be stopped by police for driving after consuming marijuana, perhaps because they do not believe their driving would be significantly altered.

Drivers under the influence of cannabis may pose a real threat to others on the road, because their impaired decisions may cause serious motor vehicle accidents. People injured due to someone else’s negligent driving may work with a personal injury attorney to pursue compensation.